3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but dated.,
This review is from: Elizabeth David on Vegetables (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Elizabeth David's fame as a food writer was at its height in the 1950s and 60s with such titles as Elizabeth David Classics: "Mediterranean Food", "French Country Cooking" and "Summer Cooking" and French Provincial Cooking. She lived at various times in France, Italy, Greece, Egypt and India - immersing herself in the local cuisine before relaying its essence to the British public through her books.
This volume is a selection of vegetable dishes from across her published works. A sort of green greatest hits.
I find the recipes a little bit dated. They come from a time after all when Britons could only buy olive oil at the chemist, and its principle use was softening ear wax.
David was an incredibly influential food writer and many of today's famous chefs are devotees. Drawing on her source they will have updated her ideas. Her DNA will be found in any book by Hugh, Jamie, Rick or Delia. I would have to say that the books of these modern day followers of Elizabeth might be a better stopping off point for many home cooks. Certainly Hugh's River Cottage Veg Every Day! (River Cottage Every Day) is likely to be of far more value to you. And I am constantly delighted by Alice Hart's Vegetarian.
So if you only buy one book on vegetables it shouldn't really be this one. That is not to downplay her huge importance to the history of opening up the UK's tastebuds, but its a fact I cannot escape. If you are really into cooking and its history and already have a shelf full of recipe books, then by all means have a look at this. It is interesting and it is a nicely illustrated round-up of mostly Mediterrannean cooking.
Another historical factor may also annoy those used to a more modern approach though. There is no list of ingredients and amounts by each recipe. Everything is revealed in the text, but I think many people will miss a clear separate list when assembling the necessary raw materials.
And finally, I like a cookery book to be built for the rigors of the kitchen. It should have a wipeable cover and we able to withstand splats and spatters. But this book, while hardback has a flimsy paper jacket that is more suited to the coffee-table than the kitchen counter.